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Tags: transgender | veterans | va | surgery | lawsuit

Transgender Veteran Advocacy Group Again Sues VA for Benefits

By    |   Monday, 15 April 2024 05:55 PM EDT

A group that advocates on behalf of transgender veterans has filed a second lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs after it denied a 2016 petition calling for health benefits to include gender-transition surgery, The Hill reported.

The Transgender American Veterans Association, which is being represented by the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic, alleges in a federal complaint filed on Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., that the VA has essentially prohibited transgender veterans who rely on the department for health care from accessing surgery since the department issued a directive in 2013 stating that the VA "does not provide sex reassignment surgery." 

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in 2021 during a Pride Month event that the department was planning to include surgery when it expands its health care benefits for transgender veterans. However, the advocacy group contends that the VA has failed to keep its promise, having previously filed a lawsuit calling on an appeals court to compel the VA to respond to its 2016 petition, which McDonough denied shortly after it was sent.

"Because VA is not ready at this time to initiate a rulemaking addressing the specific regulatory changes proposed in the petition, VA hereby denies the petition for rulemaking," McDonough wrote at the time, in a letter denying the petition.

"TAVA will not stand idly by as VA continues to discriminate against and breaks its promises to transgender veterans," Josie Caballero, TAVA vice president, said in a statement. "VA's refusal to provide gender-affirming surgery is an affront to the dignity and well-being of transgender veterans." 

She added, "Gender-affirming surgery is not a choice for many transgender individuals — it's often a critical part of our care that healthcare professionals consider medically necessary. Denying us access to these puts our lives at risk."

Theodore Bunker

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
A group that advocates on behalf of transgender veterans has filed a second lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs after it denied a 2016 petition calling for health benefits to include gender-transition surgery, The Hill reported.
transgender, veterans, va, surgery, lawsuit
307
2024-55-15
Monday, 15 April 2024 05:55 PM
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